updated 11:20 am EST, Fri March 7, 2008
Guy Kawasaki recently sat down with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to talk about the Yahoo buyout offer, as well as the company's competition with Google and Apple. According to eWeek, Kawasaki wondered if Ballmer felt that Apple was like a little dog, biting at his heels that he had to kick away every day. Ballmer retorted that he did not, saying that both Apple and Microsoft do a "pretty good job", but ultimately, Microsoft has more of a "footprint" than Apple does.
Responding to Kawasaki's question of "Why buy Yahoo?", Ballmer said that Microsoft is committed to being a very serious player in the world of search and advertising standards. Purchasing Yahoo would give Microsoft "critical mass" in those particular areas.
"We could have started going earlier on search and search-related advertising, and Yahoo is important to us in that space as you need critical mass there," Ballmer said, recognizing Microsoft's weaknesses. Ballmer clarified that if the acquisition went through, there would not be a duplication of services - Microsoft would consolidate to one search engine and one advertising service.
Kawasaki prodded Ballmer, asking if he threw darts at the pictures of the Google founders, to which he quickly responded that he did not. Ballmer is convinced that Google is not a threat to Microsoft's home, server, and enterprise business.